Thurber Lab

Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan

Thurber Lab

Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan

Imaging agent design, drug distribution, and peptide engineering


The Thurber lab uses in vivo microscopy and mathematical simulations to develop quantitative and predictive simulations of drug and imaging agent distribution. The core theory is used in multiple applications, including pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models for cancer therapy and chemoprevention and imaging agent development for screening, diagnosis, intraoperative imaging, and treatment monitoring. To this end, we are exploring a range of potential drug and imaging molecules, from small compounds, to peptides, all the way up to antibodies to better understand their targeting and distribution properties.

News from the Thurber Lab

January 2021

  • Congratulations to Dr. Bruna Menezes/Scheuher for their succesful thesis defense on "A New Hybrid Agent-Based Model Approach to Evaluate Antibody-Drug Conjugates in Solid Tumors"

December 2020

  • Congratulations to Dr. Eshita Khera for their succesful thesis defense on "Engineering Tumor Distribution of Antibody-Drug Conjugates"

August 2020

  • Congratulations to Eshita Khera and coauthors on receiving the Alavi-Mandell Award for the publication "Blocking Glucagon Like Peptide-1 Receptors in the Exocrine Pancreas Improves Specificity for Beta Cells in a Mouse Model of Type 1 Diabetes"
  • Eshita Khera presents their work on "Redefining the Rules: Engineering Tumor Distribution of Therapeutics Beyond Rule-of-Five" at the 2020 Distinguished Young Scholars Series (DYSS) hosted by the University of Washington

June 2020

  • Congratulations to Dr. Lydia Atangcho for their succesful thesis defense on "Hitting 'Undruggable' Targets: Determining the Properties of Cell Penetrant Stabilized Peptide Therapeutics for Intracellular Targets."
  • Congratulations to Dr. Tejas Navaratna for their succesful thesis defense on "Directed evolution of stabilized peptides with bacterial display."

March 2020

  • Congratulations to Anna Kopp for receiving a 2020 NSF GRFP Award for their proposed work with Antibody Drug Conjugates.
  • Congratulations to Bruna Menezes for receiving the Willie Hobbs Moore 2020 Achievement Award for their outstanding achievements and leadership role in the Movement of Underrepresented Sisters in Engineering and the Sciences (MUSES) org.

February 2020

January 2020

  • Our work on the quantification of in vivo degradation rates for therapeutic proteins has been published in MDPI Pharmaceutics.
  • Our work on a hybrid agent-based model to capture ADC and/or antibody delivery and to predict tumor killing has been published in AAPS.
  • Congratulations to Ian Nessler, co-authors, and pharmaceutical collaborators on their paper published in Cancer Research.
  • Our work on evolving surface-displayed, chemically-stabilized peptides on E. coli has been published in the Journal of American Chemical Society.
  • Dr. Thurber accepts an invitation to present at the European Antibody Congress, 2020, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Dr. Thurber accepts a keynote speech invitation at PEGS, 2020, Boston.
  • Dr. Thurber accepts an invitation to present his group's work at World ADC Asia, 2020, Tokyo.
  • Dr. Thurber is invited to present at the Quantitative Systems Pharmacology conference in Leiden, Netherlands, 2020.

December 2019

  • Our preview article on quantifying payload release of antibody-drug conjugates has been published. This accompanies Sorkin et al., detailing a method to visualize intracellular bond cleavage in Cell Chemical Biology.

May 2019

  • Congrats to Dr. Thurber for his appointment to Associate Professor with tenure!
  • Our work on improving imaging in type 1 diabetes through blocking exocrine pancreas receptors has been published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
  • Congrats to Anna and Marshall for passing their Department Candidacy Exams!

All updates